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Israel Pt. 2: Exploring Jerusalem

Previous blog posts about Israel: Yad Vashem Seminar and Part 1: Dead Sea, Masada, and Yad Vashem

After lectures one day, our group took a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem! When we got the gates we just had to grab a picture with the Israeli flag. Woo-hoo! 
The Western Wall ....   

We had a guided tour in the Western Wall tunnels ... the coolest!   

You know, just walking on 2,000+ year old streets ...   

The Western Wall and the Old City at night ...    

A few days later, some of us decided to catch a train and explore Jerusalem some more!  

We came back with some neat keepsakes.   

The day before my flight home we spent the day touring the City of David ...   

These are the ancient ruins of a typical Israelite dwelling.   

Olive trees everywhere!  

Inside an excavation tunnel under the City of David ...   

Can't get over these old streets!  

On Friday night we went to an Orthodox Synagogue service which was really interesting. After experiencing a Shabbat dinner, we were given our certificates for completing 50 hours of Holocaust Studies. Here I am with some of the instructors/guides. 

Until next time!   



Israel Pt 1: Dead Sea, Masada, and Yad Vashem

This summer I had the opportunity to visit Israel for a ten day seminar at Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center. I wrote a general blog post about my experiences studying the Holocaust HERE, but now it's time to share all the pictures! 

After a 10 1/2 hour flight, Tel Aviv was a sight for sore eyes!

After the taxi ride from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, (during which I experienced nerve racking driving!) I made some much needed coffee and took a nap before dinner.  

The next day our group headed to Masada, Qumran Caves, and the Dead Sea. As we crossed into the West Bank, we saw lots of Palestinian cars recognizable by their white license plates while Israeli cars have yellow. Our guide told us this is one of the only places without conflict where Israelis and Palestinians share the road. 

Waiting for the cable car to take us up to Masada ....  

Standing in the ruins of the ancient fortress of Masada which was built around 30 B.C. by Herod the Great  ... 

Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered  ...  

Stepping into the Dead Sea was a crazy feeling. It makes your skin feel so smooth and leaves a mineral residue everywhere

I met people from Uganda, Tanzania, Serbia, Bosnia, Norway, Nepal, and Argentina. Our group was very international which was so cool! 

First day of the seminar at Yad Vashem ... 

Everything about the Holocaust museum, including the architecture, is so intentional. The museum recreates the Warsaw Ghetto with cobblestone streets, lamp posts, and benches from early 20th century Poland. Along with original letters from the hidden archives of the Warsaw Ghetto, they also have one of the metal boxes which contained a portion of the archive.  

 A Righteous Among Nations tree planted for Oskar Schindler ...  

We had a tour around Yad Vashem to see different memorials. Not far from the museum is the Warsaw Ghetto Square—Wall of Remembrance.

"The Wall of Remembrance consists of two sculptures set in a wall of red bricks, which symbolize the ghetto walls. In the center of the first sculpture, entitled 'The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising', stands the leader of the uprising, Mordechai Anielewicz. The second sculpture, entitled 'The Last March', depicts the mass deportation of the Jews to the death camps."

IDF soldiers who were also there for seminars/tours ...  

To be continued!